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Oklahoma Opioid Abatement Board awards first round of grants to 71 entities

The Oklahoma Opioid Abatement Board meets June 4 at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
Jillian Taylor
/
StateImpact Oklahoma
The Oklahoma Opioid Abatement Board meets June 4 at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

The Oklahoma Opioid Abatement Board awarded $11 million in grants to 71 cities, counties, school districts and public trusts, to help them address the state’s opioid crisis during its Tuesday meeting.

Attorney General Gentner Drummond said in a news release the grants represent the board’s first distribution of funds.

“Today the board took an important step in providing resources to tackle the terrible crisis we are seeing across our state when it comes to fentanyl and other deadly opioids,” Drummond said.

What are the grants?

Lawsuits against opioid distributors, manufacturers and retailers have materialized into nearly $1 billion in settlement funds for Oklahoma. An initial payout of $23 million was made available to Oklahoma schools, cities, counties and public trusts for treatment and prevention through the Oklahoma Opioid Abatement Revolving Fund.

Approved purchases for grant awardees are outlined in the Political Subdivisions Opioid Abatement Grants Act, approved by the Legislature in 2020. There are 21 allowable purchases in Oklahoma law, including things like decreasing illicit drug supplies, expanding treatment, providing education and monitoring use.

The money is under the Opioid Abatement Board’s oversight for local communities.

The office has divided grants into tiers based on population to ensure transparency and prevent misspending, and it will distribute them quarterly. Spending will be outlined in quarterly reports subject to the Open Records Act, meaning everyone can track expenditures.

The Oklahoma Opioid Abatement Board received over 250 letters in early December from eligible groups saying they intended to apply for a portion of the $23 million. Applications for the grants launched Dec. 22.

Educational opportunities and resources were offered to these groups as they built their applications, including things like a guidance document from the Oklahoma Healthy Minds Policy Initiative, office hours and webinars.

The initial application deadline was March 8 for groups to make their case on why they should get some of the money, but it was extended to March 29. Additional deadline extensions occurred through April for some applicants who still needed to submit supplemental documentation.

Who is going to receive grant money?

The following applicants were approved for grant awards:

Counties:

  • Adair County
  • Cherokee County
  • Cleveland County
  • Creek County
  • Kingfisher County
  • Leflore County
  • Lincoln County
  • Mayes County
  • Muskogee County
  • Oklahoma County
  • Okmulgee County
  • Payne County
  • Pontotoc County
  • Seminole County
  • Tulsa County
  • Wagoner County
  • Woodward County

Cities:

  • Bartlesville
  • Bixby
  • Edmond
  • Lawton
  • Lone Grove
  • Muskogee
  • Norman
  • Okmulgee
  • Pryor Creek
  • Shawnee
  • Stilwell
  • Tahlequah

School Districts:

  • Bartlesville
  • Bethany
  • Checotah
  • Comanche
  • Dickson
  • Edmond
  • Guthrie
  • Guymon
  • Hillsdale
  • Jenks
  • Keys
  • Lindsay
  • Marietta
  • Maysville
  • Metro Technology Centers
  • Moore
  • Mosely
  • Norman
  • Pawhuska
  • Perkins-Tryon
  • Purcell
  • Sand Springs
  • Shawnee
  • South Coffeyville
  • Stigler
  • Stillwater
  • Stillwell
  • Tishomingo
  • Union
  • Warner
  • Western Heights
  • Westville

Trusts:

  • Cardinal Point Public Trust
  • Comanche County Memorial Hospital Authority
  • Grady Memorial Hospital Authority
  • McAlester Regional Health Center Authority
  • Norman Regional Hospital Authority
  • Southwestern Oklahoma Development Authority
  • Tahlequah Hospital Authority

Joint Applications:

  • Jackson County and City of Altus
  • Rogers County and City of Claremore
  • City of Tulsa and Tulsa Public Schools

The largest grant of $700,000 was awarded to the City of Tulsa and Tulsa Public Schools for coordinated opioid abatement services between the Tulsa Fire Department, Tulsa Police Department and the Healthy Minds Policy Initiative, according to a news release. Those funds will be overseen by the City of Tulsa’s Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Equity

Other approved grant awards include:

  • $300,000 for the Comanche County Hospital Authority to establish a women’s and children’s program for opioid-affected families.
  • $150,000 for MetroTech to expand existing opioid abatement initiatives
  • $75,000 to Woodward County for opioid abuse education and prevention programs for middle and high school students. 

These grants will be distributed once recipients return their award agreements.

What about the other applicants?

Thirty-one applicants can resubmit their applications. They were not immediately accepted because their applications were incomplete or didn’t cover an approved purchase. Those applicants include:

Counties:

  • Hughes County
  • Haskell County
  • Larimer County
  • McCurtain County
  • Osage County
  • Pittsburg County
  • The multi-county coalition of:
    • Beckham County
    • Caddo County
    • Comanche County
    • Cotton County
    • Custer County
    • Grady County
    • Greer County
    • Harmon County
    • Jefferson County
    • Kiowa County
    • Stephens County
    • Tilman County

Cities:

  • Gore
  • Guymon
  • Haileyville
  • Hartshorne
  • Hugo
  • Ponca City
  • Savanna
  • Slaughterville
  • Warr Acres

School Districts:

  • Lawton
  • Northwest Technology Center
  • Owasso

Joint Application:

Broken Arrow Public Schools and City of Broken Arrow

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Jillian Taylor reports on health and related topics for StateImpact Oklahoma.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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